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Rhapsody of Fire: Dark Wings of Steel

I consider myself to be a fan of Rhapsody of Fire or whatever they're calling themselves this week and their various offshoots but what on earth are Dark Wings of Steel? I appreciate that the band has always had an overblown sense of the ridiculous (although I think they are actually very serious despite having recorded the utterly bonkers "Village of Dwarves") but occasionally they go so far over the top it almost defies belief. After splitting from Luca Turilli and releasing the entirely perfunctory Live - From Chaos to Eternity earlier this year we now have the new studio recording featuring, for the first time, I believe, songs written by Alex Staropoli and his brother Manuel, with lyrics penned by vocalist Fabio Lione.

Although the band claim to have moved on stylistically there's not much on here to suggest that is overly truthful but that is not meant as a criticism. From the usual introductory piece "Vis Divina" through the opening riffage of "Rising From Tragedy" the listener immediately feels safe. All the epic tropes of massed choir and Fabio Lione's heavily accented voice remain in place. Arguably Turilli has taken the more grandiose elements of the band's sound with him and given the choice I prefer his recent album Ascending to Infinity but in many ways it is excellent that there are now two Rhapsodic bands out there producing top notch fantasy metal. In "Angel of Light" and "A Tale of Magic" the band have veered away from epic choruses and are now producing more layered, hook based material which I suspect may be even better as time passes. This is generally a good sign and this is a very good album.

Track Listing:
1. Vis Divina
2. Rising From Tragic Flames
3. Angel of Light
4. Tears of Pain
5. Fly to Crystal Skies
6. My Sacrifice
7. Silver Lake of Tears
8. Custode Di Pace
9. A Tale of Magic
10. Dark Wings of Steel
11. Sad Mystic Moon

Added: November 28th 2013
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2000
Language: english

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